What is an integrative health coach? 

Client-centered, relational approach to working with individuals, couples, and groups collaboratively to address the health and wellbeing of the whole person. It acknowledges the interdependent roles of mind, body and spirit, and the innate healing capacity within each person, with an emphasis on self-care. An integrative health coach forms a partnership with individuals or groups to empower, and support them in achieving their personal goals related to optimal health and wellness.

What is functional medicine?

In simplest terms, think of it as the ultimate in personalized, one-on-one, therapeutic relationships. It’s a health-focused, patient-centric partnership, in which doctor and patient work together to dig deep and find out the causes of illness and disease. We examine not only the patient, but also their unique history, environment, lifestyle and underlying factors, and then develop a health-enhancing, usually drug-free plan to help restore the patient to good health and get him or her on a life-long path of wellness. With Functional Medicine, we look beyond the laundry list of symptoms; we take the whole person into account.

What is integrative nutrition?

Integrative nutrition connects the dots between mental and emotional wellness and your actions. It’s how clients eat, how they think about food and their body, and how they show up for themselves every day (and how that impacts their food choices).

What is conventional versus complementary medicine?

Complementary and conventional medicine adopt very different approaches toward the definition and treatment of disease. Conventional medicine is diagnosis-led: doctors use symptoms and medical tests to assess the problem, and prescribe treatment accordingly. Complementary practitioners aim to deal with the patient as a whole: for them, illness signifies a disruption of physical and mental well-being. Treatment attempts to stimulate the body's natural self-healing and self-regulating abilities.

What is an R.N.?

A registered nurse (RN) is one of many different types of nurses. A registered nurse is a nurse who has completed at least an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor of science degree in nursing (BSN) and has successfully passed the NCLEX-RN certification exam. After becoming an RN, some nurses go on to become an advanced practice RN (APRN) such as a Clinical Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) or other more highly specialized role. RNs can work in a medical office or a hospital, in a variety of medical specialties and areas.

What is an MSN?

Nurses with a master’s degree can pursue advanced positions in healthcare, including the roles of nurse practitioner, nurse educator, and director of nursing. During a master’s program, nursing students take graduate courses in evidence-based practices, leadership in nursing, and specialized courses in a concentration area. Specializations in neonatal nursing, oncology nursing, and pediatrics are common subfields of nursing available to graduate students.

MSN programs also incorporate clinical experiences so that nurses can gain hands-on experience in their chosen specialty. After earning the degree, graduates can qualify for board certification and licenses including family nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, and psychiatric nurse practitioner.

Earning a master’s degree in nursing takes two or three years, depending on the student’s prior work experience and whether they attend a program part- or full-time. Nursing programs admit applicants with RN licenses to earn a master’s degree even without a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN).

When Did I Know I Wanted to Become a Nurse?

My mother Maureen (Mo) was a RN.  She earned her Master’s Degree later in life and worked as a Cardiac Nurse and Case Manager for more than 25 years at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany, NY. My father was an engineer who worked for Niagara Mohawk, now known as National Grid.  After 23 years of marriage my parents separated. My father’s mental illness continued to get worse and our home environment was very controlling and at times violent.

My maternal grandmother lived with us for a few years, which added more stress on my parents, but I loved having her there with us.  She had a little apartment in the converted garage, and her place was a little escape with a separate telephone line that I used every night to talk to my friends.  My grandmother and I would play cards and watch TV. As she became frailer, I would stay with her at night. This is when I knew I wanted to be a nurse, for sure.  

What Was My Role at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center?

I worked as a medical surgical nurse for several years and then became a nursing instructor for new graduate nurses.  For a while I taught High School and worked as a per diem nurse in the float pool. After having my son Jack, I went back to bedside nursing in a Bone Marrow Transplant unit, where I stayed for several years.  I was very much a novice nurse when I started working for MSKCC, but the resources and services were endless. I had great training and learned from very talented and smart people. Nurses were extremely well respected.